Spring Ball Day 5

It was a day for the offense on Tuesday as there were several long plays and even some experimentation with the shotgun snap. Click below to read more:

The Trojan coaches had hinted about the possibility of using the shotgun snap and today was our first look this spring. It is a system that John David Booty used in high school so it stands to reason that his comfort level is high, Mark Sanchez used the shotgun in two high school all-star games and said after practice that he felt good in the "gun" today. It will be interesting to see how much use it gets during the remainder of spring and into the fall camp period.

One of the first things you also noticed today about practice was the alumni star power. With tomorrow being the USC Pro Day, we saw several former SC players in attendance at practice including Kennedy Pola, LenDale White and Keary Colbert along with Pro Day participants Oscar Lua, Ryan Powdrell and Ryan Kalil. Future Trojans Aaron Corp and Marc Tyler were also in attendance.

During early punt return drills we saw Desmond Reed and Jamere Holland doing the return work. The way Desmond has looked this spring, he has seen the return of an extra gear that he just couldn't call on last year, should solidify his spot as the primary guy. Jamere needs to work a little on his consistency right now with catching the ball but when he does bring it in, watch out. This guy is lightning fast.

Reed got things going for the offense on the 2nd play of the run drill on Brian Kennedy Field with a nice darting run up the middle of the defense for a good gain. Keith Rivers read a sweep attempt by Emmanuel Moody and made the tackle for a two yard loss. Keith really looks terrific this spring. Clay Matthews had a stop on Reed for no gain. Chauncey Washington put the ball in the end zone with a long run that saw him get past Alfred Rowe with a stiff-arm inside the ten yard line.

The offensive momentum continued in a skeleton passing drill even though the first play was a pick by Cary Harris of a Booty pass. John David got things on the right track by hitting Hershel Dennis for a nice gain. Booty then completed a pass on a crossing route to Travon Patterson and he outraced the defense for a touchdown, a few plays later he hit Fred Davis at the goal line and Fred made a wonderful one handed grab for the score. Mark Sanchez came in and hit Vidal Hazelton with a short pass that Vidal turned into a long gain with some excellent running through the secondary. Jimmy Abbott ended the drill with an interception.

The team drill at the end of the day used the shotgun for some early snaps but then went back to the center snap for the remainder of the session. Shareece Wright made his presence felt on a short reception by David Ausberry as Shareece stepped up and laid a solid pop on the bigger receiver. Booty threw a pass for Vidal Hazelton that was low and John David turned his head and slapped his helmet because he thought he missed the pass but Vidal went down low and made the acrobatic grab. Travon Patterson had a stretch where he caught three passes in a row, one from Booty and two from Sanchez. Hazelton had another short pass that ended up a big gain thanks to his running ability after the catch. Shareece had another noticeable play, this time on a short pass from Booty to Reed where Shareece came up and laid a shoulder into Reed to knock him to the ground. Josh Pinkard showed his appreciation for the play with some sideline heckling directed toward Desmond but Reed just waved his hand in the air to show that the hit didn't bother him. Patrick Turner got a little offensive revenge on Wright on the next play after he caught a hitch pass and delivered a blow straight up against Shareece, Turner was able to gain a few extra yards after the hit knocked Shareece back a little. Chauncey Washington had a pretty run off right tackle. Desmond had his best run of the day with a 25 yard dash up the middle of the defense. Sanchez came in with the ball at the 50 and launched a strike that landed in the arms of Fred Davis in the end zone despite decent coverage from Clay Matthews. It was the second impressive touchdown of the day for Fred. A few plays later Sanchez dropped a screen to Stanley Havili who lowered his shoulder on Alfred Rowe and rambled for extra yardage. As we said earlier, this was a day for the offense but the defense had a couple bright spots toward the end of practice. Gerald Washington had a sack on Sanchez while Sed Ellis and Fili Moala combined for a sack on Booty. The day ended, however, with three long offensive plays. First, Sanchez threw to Reed along the line of scrimmage and Desmond did the rest for a 15 yard gain. Next, we saw Booty connect with Hazelton who once again gained a lot of yards after the catch. This was probably the best practice we've seen from Vidal in a Trojan uniform. On the final play Booty hit Patterson for another nice gain and that was it for the day.

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